Free computer centre closes after 12-year run

Central United Church. Troy Shantz

Journal Staff

A free and popular drop-in centre that links seniors with computers has logged off for the last time.

Central United Church’s computer access program for seniors has ended, due to the sale of church’s George Street building.

Over the past 12 years, the drop-in centre has had up to 1,200 visitors per 10-month season, enjoying free access to computers, printers and the Internet, organizers Norm Lamoureux and Elizabeth McDonald said in a release.

It began with a donation of 35 computers from a former Bayside Mall call centre. Over the years, the community has provided additional printers, scanners, laptops, power bars, computer books and reams of paper, as well as coffee makers and snacks for participants.

Central United Church covered the costs of heat, electricity and the capital costs of some software upgrades.

“All of these generous gifts were warmly received, and aided in our being able to continue to offer a free computer service,” the release said.

The sale of the church at the intersection of George and Brock streets closes in November.

Rental agreements with outside groups including the Scouts, NW exercise group, and others have also ended.

The downtown landmark and its 1.6 acres had been listed for $369,000 last summer. Built in 1888, it had additions added in 1925 and 1950 and today includes 20,000-square-foot of space, two chapels, offices, a kitchen and gymnasium.

Sunday church services will continue through October and November, after which the congregation will move to Dunlop United Church on Rosedale Avenue.